China warns of 'global consensus' on tackling climate change

China will honour its commitments on climate change, its premier has said, as the United States appears poised to pull out of a key deal. The U.S., which took the lead in negotiating the deal, signed onto the agreement in April 2016, along with China, the European Union and 171 other nations.

In a tweet, Trump said he would be announcing his decision on the 2015 Paris climate deal in the next few days.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump was working out the terms of the planned withdrawal with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, an oil industry ally and climate change skeptic.

Abandoning the pact would isolate the US from a raft of worldwide allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions.

The departure of the USA would make it significantly harder to avoid temperatures rising by more than two degrees Celsius by 2100, according to climate modeling by US not-for-profit Climate Interactive.

Aides to Trump said he was listening with an open mind to the other leaders' arguments about Paris, but didn't feel obligated to heed their calls to remain within the pact. He said it would protect the economic and energy sovereignty of the U.S.

The final text of the agreement was adopted at the Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP21, in December 2015.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said withdrawing from the climate accord is "absolutely" the right decision for the American economy.

"It is not too late to for the president to stay the course and work with the tech industry to ensure that more clean energy jobs continue to go to Americans and that US leadership in innovation is second to none".

Russian Federation joined the chorus speaking out in favor of the climate accord. In particular, he positioned himself as a staunch advocate for fossil fuels, nixing climate change funding from his proposed budget and scrapping rules that discourage pollution and boost renewable energy.

"No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have chose to move forward", Miguel Arias Canete, the European commissioner who has led climate talks with Beijing, said of the Paris accord. And there has been quite a bit of progress on that front, he says, with the formation of groups such as the Climate and Health Alliance, the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, and the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, launched just two months ago.

"A US climate retreat will no doubt leave a big hole on the global climate regime".

To date, 147 out of the 197 countries have ratified the accord, including the United States, where the accord entered into force last November.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump blasted the accord, and called global warming a hoax aimed at weakening USA industry. In all likelihood, a public debate would have at least brought out the conservative public policy community to support Trump's assertion that "the United States pays billions while China, Russia, and India have contributed, and will contribute, nothing".

Trump promoted his announcement Wednesday night on Twitter, after a day in which USA allies around the world sounded alarms about the likely consequences of a US withdrawal. The exit could take as long as one to nearly four years.

Meetings inside the West Wing about Paris have been contentious, sources told CNN, as aides expressed their deep grievances over the climate agreement that President Barack Obama helped broker with almost every country.

Trump has also signaled, more broadly, that fighting climate change is not a priority for his administration.

  • Carolyn Briggs